The Catalyst

My Journey | #Path-to-health

Having suffered my entire life with emotional and social difficulties, I kind of just took it in my stride as a part of my everyday life. I had all these psychological reflexes to protect myself against perceived harm from others’ views and treatment of me and the truth is, none of it worked in my favour. However when it’s all you’ve ever known, it’s very difficult to just start thinking differently. We are emotionally reactive creatures, it’s a part of our nature.

So I destroyed another relationship in my life with my insecurities, my doubts, all the pain that I couldn’t handle. Of course it all ultimately came from me. Now that’s not to say I was wrong to be unhappy with how others treated me. But at the end of the day I needed to learn to handle it with an emotionally different coping method. My reactions were extreme, desperate, clingy. All the signs of a traumatised person trying very hard to hold on to a final strand of hope. That’s what it was to me. Excessive texting, missed calls, it was all a way for me to scream at the world — or at least the person I valued most in the world — I’m in pain, I can’t cope, please help me, please don’t abandon me to suffer this alone. Of course that kind of behaviour only serves to push others away anyway.

Caught in this cycle of self-loathing, distress, desperation and pain I knew it needed to stop. I hadn’t eaten, I hadn’t slept properly, I was behaving self-destructively, I felt physically sick, I kept shaking. I was destroying myself physically with the effect of my emotional nuclear reaction. With the help of friends I lived with I took my mind off the issue, receiving hugs and eventually managing to eat some cereal once my stomach stopped getting stabbing pains.

That night I so badly wanted to die. I had for a while. Of course the desire to die and the lack of willpower to go through with suicide just added to the cycle of self-loathing and feeling like a failure. I thought of a way. It was simple. It was effective. And for once I decided not to tell anybody my idea because I really didn’t want to be stopped.

The next morning I felt a bit better though. During the first few hours of my day, I extended a detailed apology to the person unfortunate enough to have been subjected to my harassment-style behaviour. I began to write a personal treatment plan. Most importantly I made a commitment to myself, for the sake of my psychological well-being, not to continue seeking external reassurance or ‘fixes’ for the pain I was feeling. This external focus was destroying me and that was the biggest thing I needed to fight. The truth is there is nothing worse in this world than having your own worst enemy inside you. Dysfunctional thinking and emotions destroys more lives than I wager even all the wars in the world put together…because it doesn’t just hurt the sufferer, it hurts everybody around them, children the most and every family will have experienced some varying level of it because nobody has perfect social experiences.

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